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Industry Groups Propose Building Blocks for U.S. Chemicals Management Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Before a historic conference on modernizing the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA), Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) today offered eight building blocks to help guide the development of an updated law for chemicals management in the United Sates.

“We are pleased to join with various stakeholders today to host a conference on the future of U.S. chemicals management policy,” said GMA President and CEO Pamela Bailey. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency needs new tools to review and manage the use of chemicals. Now is the time to modernize TSCA.”

“We continue to urge the Administration and Congress to establish a stakeholder process to develop the most comprehensive gold standard for chemicals management policy in the world,” said Chris Cathcart, CSPA President and CEO. “All stakeholders — Congress, regulators, downstream users, raw material suppliers, retailers, environmental, consumer and animal welfare and labor groups — should work together to develop sound public policy.”

“We have a unique opportunity to modernize chemical regulation the right way—protecting the public and the environment while retaining U.S. leadership in chemical innovation. We should seize that moment,” said Ernie Rosenberg, SDA President and CEO. “As we engage with other stakeholders, EPA and the Congress, we should all keep in mind that innovation will be critical to the development of more sustainable products.”

Key building blocks include:

Promote Innovation – TSCA reform should boost confidence in government chemical management and promote even greater innovation by chemical manufacturers and users.

Review Priority Chemicals – EPA should establish a system to quickly identify and review “priority” chemicals based upon both hazard characteristics and exposures, including exposures to children.

Provide Adequate Use, Exposure and Toxicity Information – EPA should work with chemical manufacturers and users to ensure that EPA has timely and adequate information of chemical hazards, exposures and uses, including uses in children’s products.

Update the Safety Standard – EPA should to establish a risk-based methodology to determine whether a “priority” chemical is reasonably expected to be safe for its intended use. Safety determinations should consider the effects of exposure to children and other sensitive populations.

Clarify Risk Management Tools – EPA should have clearer risk-based authorities to specify risk management measures that will ensure that chemicals of concern are reasonably expected to be safe for their intended uses.

Leverage and Integrate Chemical Reviews – Policymakers should take steps to leverage the chemical management programs undertaken by other nations and to integrate the patchwork quilt of laws governing chemical management.

Meet Deadlines – Policymakers should provide EPA with adequate resources and clear authorities to establish and meet deadlines to carry agency work under TSCA.

Use the Best Available Science – Policymakers should ensure that EPA relies upon the best available science regardless of its source.